Cupping therapy (Hijamat/ Mahaajim) is an ancient technique/ procedure of Unani medicine. It is used as a method of regimental therapies (Ilaj- bil-tadbeer), in which a local suction is created on the skin. This mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing or to cure diseases.
It is a special technique used for local evacuation or diversion of morbid humors. A horn is attached to the surface of the skin of the diseased part through which negative pressure is created by vacuum. The vacuum is created by the introduction of heat or suction.
Now a days the horn is being replaced with glass cup and hence the procedure came to be known as cupping. In cupping basically the skin is gently drawn upwards by creating a vacuum in a cup over the target area of the skin.
Types of cupping: It is of two types:
Hijamat bil shurt i.e. cupping with bloodletting
Hijamat bila shurt i.e. cupping without bloodletting
The second technique can be done in two ways
Hijamat bil Naar: In this process vacuum is created by using fire
Hijamat bila Naar: In this process vacuum is created without using fire
The main objectives are either istifraagh (evacuation of morbid matters from the body) or imala (diversion of matter from one part of the body to another).
Application of cupping therapy (Hijamat/ Mahaajim)
To clean the skin from waste matters (Mawaad-e- faasida)
To stop excessive menses and epistaxis
To correct liver disorders
To treat problems such as spleen disorders, malaria piles, inflammation of testes and uterus, scabies and boils.